New Delhi, November 1: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said his government will examine the legality of a special team formed by the central government to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. He said his government would also explore the possibility of forming a new Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the killings. A total of 2,733 people were killed in the anti-Sikh riots following the assassition of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.
Quoting his party colleague and lawyer H.S. Phoolka, Kejriwal said the central government does not have the power to form an SIT. “I will get it examined whether the Delhi government can form an SIT and if the SIT formed by the central government is illegal,” he said. The issue was raised by Aam Aadmi Party member Phoolka at a Delhi government function in Tilak gar where the families of those who were killed in anti-Sikh riots were given an enhanced compensation of Rs.5 lakh each.
This is likely to add to the acrimony between the Delhi and central governments over a string of issues. “To prevent me from forming an SIT, they constituted an SIT a day before the formation of my government,” Kejriwal said. The AAP took power on February 14 this year after winning 67 of the 70 Delhi assembly seats. In its previous tenure in 2013-14, the AAP government had ordered an SIT probe but it did not come through as Kejriwal resigned 49 days after being sworn in as the chief minister.
Kejriwal accused the Bharaitya Jata Party (BJP)-led central government of stalling his efforts to form an SIT. “Why did they form it...? Because they feared that Kejriwal will form an SIT of honest officers and send the guilty to jail,” he said. He said successive governments of the BJP and the Congress failed to deliver justice to the riot-hit families. “Had the perpetrators of the killings in 1984 been severely punished, incidents like Dadri and Gujarat would not have happened,” Kejriwal said. By Gujarat and Dadri, he was referring to the 2002 commul riots in the western state and the lynching of a Muslim man for allegedly eating beef in Uttar Pradesh in September this year. (IANS)